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TO JAN. 21, 2002
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In 1967, a team at Gemini Graphic Editions Limited, a fledgling Los Angeles studio collective, pieced together X-ray segments of American printmaker Robert Rauschenberg’s 42-year-old self. They burned the films onto lithograph plates, then printed the shadowy bones atop a dreamy silk-screen background of horse-racing scenes and a map of planetary movements. The result was Rauschenberg’s life-sized Booster (pictured), an intimate and groundbreaking self-portrait. “Best Impressions: 35 Years of Prints and Sculpture From Gemini G.E.L.” surveys about 50 works from the National Gallery’s collection of Gemini publications, which it obtained in 1981. Since its 1966 inception, Gemini has been a sort of proving ground and support network for some of the biggest names in contemporary printmaking and sculpture: Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Frank Gehry, and Jasper Johns have all worked with the studio. Gemini has also long been known for developing techniques that have expanded the boundaries of printmakingRichard Serra’s imposing XXDouble TorquedXX Ellipse required a specialized method of mass ink-mixing, and Purple/Red/Gray/Orange, Ellsworth Kelly’s glowing, wall-sized (51.75 inches by 225.5 inches) geometric work, tested Gemini’s large-scale presses. (Stranger experiments included White Line Squares XI, part of a series of abstract prints that were produced according to instructions phoned in by artist Josef Albers.) “Best Impressions: 35 Years of Prints and Sculpture From Gemini G.E.L.” is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, to Monday, Jan. 21, 2002, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Shauna Miller)